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Florida confirms two deaths, first outside West Coast

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: Countries around the world work to contain and delay the spread of the novel coronavirus that has already claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide, including nine in the U.S.
Countries around the world work are working to contain and delay the spread of the novel coronavirus.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The confirmation of two deaths from coronavirus in Florida became the first fatalities outside of California and Washington state, and new cases were confirmed in new areas of the U.S. Friday.

The death toll in the U.S. from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 17 on Friday, with more than 330 cases confirmed across the country. Pennsylvania has announced its first cases. Johns Hopkins University announced that more than 100,000 people have been infected worldwide.

Health experts are urging people to continue practicing preventative measures, such as routine hand washing, in order to avoid the virus.

President Donald Trump on Friday morning signed a $8.3 billion emergency spending package to combat the virus.

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Facebook banning ads for medical masks

Facebook's head of ads and business products said Friday that the social media giant is banning ads and commerce listings for medical masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend masks or respirators for the general public.

Hawaii's first case was Grand Princess cruise passenger

Hawaii hare reported its first confirmed case of coronavirus.

The patient was on the Grand Princess cruise ship, now docked off the coast of San Francisco, Gov. David Ige said at news conference. The traveler disembarked last month in Mexico and flew home to Honolulu, officials said.

The ship made four stops in Hawaii in February and carried at least four passengers from Hawaii. State officials want anyone who was on the ship to "self-quarantine."

Last month officials said a couple from Japan was diagnosed with the virus after visiting Hawaii. But state officials have not officially counted the cases as originating in the Aloha State, and the exact source of the pair's exposure remained a mystery.

Postmates rolls out 'no contact delivery' option

The food delivery company Postmates on Friday announced a “non-contact delivery" option amid fears of the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

"Customers can now choose if they'd like to receive their order at the door or curbside or say they'd prefer for it to just be left at the door. The fleet member will be alerted to their preference at the time of delivery," a Postmates spokesperson said in an email. The company also announced it on its blog.

Instacart on Thursday said it would offer a "Leave at My Door Delivery" option and that it had seen a surge in recent days in demand for powdered milk, canned goods, hand sanitizer and vitamins. 

DoorDash also has a feature enabling requests for food to be left at the door along with a photo of where the food should be left through the app, the company said.

'They're keeping us in the dark': Coronavirus response enrages families

Kevin Connolly is one of several people with loved ones at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, where several residents of the long-term care facility and those affiliated with it have fallen ill.

It's quickly become a center for the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by virus.

Seven residents have died, and tests for others are pending. Some seemingly healthy residents, such as Connolly's father-in-law, Jerry Wall, 81, are still waiting to be tested for the virus that has infected more than 101,000 worldwide and killed more than 3,400. Older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions, are most at risk for complications.

"I don't know why it's taking so long for those test kits to get there," Connolly told NBC News. He said health officials have not communicated effectively about what's happening at the Life Care Center.

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Pence reports 21 people tested positive on cruise ship

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that 21 people aboard a cruise ship that's being held off the coast of California have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The California Air National Guard had delivered 46 tests to the Grand Princess, which has been offshore since Wednesday. Of the 46 passengers tested, Pence said 21 people, 19 employees and two passengers, had tested positive. Twenty-four tested negative, and one was inconclusive, Pence said.

There are over 3,500 people on board the ship, which is anchored near San Francisco.

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U.S. coronavirus testing capacity is 'not currently adequate,' expert tells Congress

The United States "desperately" needs more tests to screen for the new coronavirus, a public health expert told Congress on Friday.

"Testing capacity is not currently adequate, and we need more," said Dr. Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention for the Johns Hopkins Health System and an epidemiologist. "We need this as soon as we can have it."

Maragakis' remarks were part of a briefing on Capitol Hill by five experts from Johns Hopkins, which has been tracking the international outbreak.

While other countries have run tens of thousands of tests — South Korea has tested more than 100,000 patients — the U.S. has tested barely a fraction of that. Technical glitches and narrow criteria for who could be tested initially hampered the efforts.

The test kit's technical problems have since been resolved and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines expanded. And while testing capacity has increased, promises made by the Trump administration have yet to come to fruition.

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